Greg Rucka






6th Atticus Kodiak Book
Bantam, Aug 2007
Reviewed by Joy Calderwood


"I love my country.
"But I fear my government."

…says Atticus Kodiak. He was a bodyguard, but somewhere along the way his goals have begun to change. Some of that change stems from the action in CRITICAL SPACE, fifth of this series, but first-time Rucka readers come into the action of PATRIOT ACTS with no warning and little explanation of the drama. What we glean from the opening scenes is that Atticus and his group care warmly about each other in the face of a disastrous, callous act.

Atticus, under a false name, is on the run with some of his comrades. They don't know who ordered the coordinated attack, but they know who betrayed them, and they have every intention – grim intention – of finding him and his controllers. I didn't come up for air until about page fifty, when I reached a break in the initial action.

Kodiak and his lady Alena are using a variety of names as they make their way about the world. False passports, comforting isolation, and a guardian Doberman pinscher save this pair of master assassins while the search goes on in the United States. When the betrayer is found, they are poised to pursue. The prey is as big as they had feared.

On the one hand PATRIOT ACTS is violent, vicious and vengeful. On the other it is friends who put their lives in each other's hands, to forestall worldwide destruction.

The strong sense of loyalty between Atticus and his associates kept me reading steadily, though I remained at a loss to understand how American Atticus hooked up with this Russian group. That came from the previous book. I found the main torture scene hard to read, especially since it was Americans performing such cold mayhem. When finally the culprit was identified, it was the plotting that carried my interest along. I wanted to find out how Atticus and his allies could get through to the closely guarded target.

PATRIOT ACTS is strong in human interest in addition to the tense action. I expect I would have felt more connected to it if I had read the series from the beginning.

July 2008


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